This vacation residence located in a beautiful ocean community on the New England coast features high performance and creative use of space in a small package. ZeroEnergy Design, an architecture and passive house consulting firm, created the simple, gable-roofed structure and proposed the Passive House standard. The resulting home consumes merely 14% of the energy compared to a similar new home built only to code requirements.
The client sought a modern two-bedroom, two-bath private retreat that was right-sized for their family – nothing more, nothing less – and a goal of minimizing energy use. The site offered excellent southern exposure, however paired that with the challenge of a lovely north-facing agrarian view.
ZED planned the home’s gable form as a defining aesthetic feature. Its iconic shape is repeated both inside and out. Simple finishes, bright colors, minimal trim, and concrete floors achieve a clean, fresh look for the interior. Daylighting, paired with the agrarian surroundings, enhances the home while drawing in the outdoor environment.
High R-values in the home, including R-44 walls, R-50 slab foundation, R-60 roof, and meticulous air sealing result in a vast reduction in space conditioning requirements. A single air source heat pump provides heating and cooling distributed via exposed ductwork.
The layout carefully aligns with the family’s planned use. Bedrooms are located at either end of the home. A central space with cathedralized ceilings includes living and cooking areas with northern views and ample southern daylight. A dining nook, on the south side of the space, accommodates a large table for both family and friends without encroaching on the open space. A loft, overlooking the living space, allows for extra sleeping areas and a dedicated play space for children. The family also expressed their love of bathing, which was addressed by including a dedicated sun-filled tub room in the southeast corner of the home. Despite the modest footprint, the home addresses all of the family’s needs through smart design and creative space planning.
LEED GOLD certified, Energy Star certified, and designed to the Passive House Standard.
What do you think about the look of this home — and all its energy-saving elements?
Images: Greg Premru Photography
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